Trump's 'downplay and denial' of COVID-19 named 'Lie of the Year' by top fact checkers
Donald Trump and Dr. Tony Fauci (screengrab)

Politifact has awarded its annual "Lie of the Year" to President Donald Trump and his political allies for spreading misinformation about the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"President Donald J. Trump fueled confusion and conspiracies from the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic," the website wrote in its recount of all the "downplay and denial" about the pandemic. "He embraced theories that COVID-19 accounted for only a small fraction of the thousands upon thousands of deaths. He undermined public health guidance for wearing masks and cast Dr. Anthony Fauci as an unreliable flip-flopper."

While Trump was the major purveyor of COVID misinformation, Politifact says he does not deserve all of credit for spreading lies about the disease, as many Fox News personalities and anonymous social media accounts helped him out.

"It was a symphony of counter narrative, and Trump was the conductor, if not the composer," the website writes. "The message: The threat to your health was overhyped to hurt the political fortunes of the president."

Watch Politifact's video about COVID-19 misinformation below.